Matthew Pinney

Matt Pinney
The Secret Garden: Paintings by Matt Pinney
Forum Gallery
November 10, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Reception: November 17, 2018 2-4PM


Matt Pinney has a deep curiosity about nature and the bounty that it brings. He is an avid gardener and is currently studying dendrology (the study of trees) as well as the making of liqueurs from local fruits and nuts. His investigative study of nature forms the basis of the relationship between material and art. The process of developing pigments, the basis of any painting, recognizes the chemical reactions that make colors possible. The translation of a pigment, from its primitive state, into a work of art is preceded by an understanding of both a chemical and an alchemical change.

Matt Pinney is a multi-media artist living and working in Washington D.C. He has shown his work nationally and internationally. Pinney is an Assistant Professor at Northern Virginia Community College’s Manassas campus where he teaches studio art. He is also a faculty member at The Art League at the Torpedo Factory where he won the Clemente Faculty Award at the Patron’s show in 2017. Pinney has been awarded the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities Fellowship and the purchase award from DCCAH’s Washington Collection in 2016 and 2017. Pinney received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Artist Statement

Moon Harvester

My paintings employ personal myths, reinterpretations of history, and investigation of cultural assigned roles to create narratives that are unbound by time. Flattening linear time into an ever present now recognizes the interrelated nature of our society. We travel huge distances, access vast amounts of information, and form relationships through a checklist of culturally assigned concepts of value. Despite all of this, there is still a great deal of mystery. I create narratives that employ historical or mythological figures in timeless settings that serve as symbolic representations to be subverted or reinterpreted in the context of my own experience. These symbols employ the language of mythologies (both personal and historical), politics, and the chaos associated with love and the wilderness, based in my experiences. These narratives are acts of investigation.

Different methods of observation, combined together, can form unexpected intertextual relationships. Scientific reasoning, the cacophony of social media, and the divine are expressed in their own language. Each method of depicting form is itself a method for categorizing and characterizing experience. In my paintings I portray these symbolic languages through formal strategies. Linear perspective, and its abstraction of geometric space, requires straight lines that are carefully measured. The language of perspective is symbolic of our attempts at rational systems of control. Rhythms that permeate the picture plain signify the universal reach of the divine. The Erinyes, or Furies, of Greek mythology inject chaos on the rational plans of man (represented by using one of Antonio Lopez Garcia’s paintings of the suburbs outside Madrid).

My paintings seek to deconstruct the narrative. Our interpretation of historic narratives is deeply connected to the present. It is very difficult to decipher the complexity of our society or even my own place in it. My intention as an artist is to represent the systems that classify our understanding of an experience.

To learn more about Matthew’s paintings visit his website at and follow him on Instagram at @mattjpinney